Liberal Arts Blog — The Math of the Perfect Meal — Number of Courses, Items per Plate, Proportionality
Liberal Arts Blog — Sunday is the Joy of Humor, Food, Travel, Practical Life Tips, and Miscellaneous Day
Today’s Topic: The Math of the Perfect Meal — Number of Courses, Items per Plate, Proportionality
All I remember from statistics: “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” What items of culinary mathematics do you have to share? How many items does your perfect salad have, for example? When does the law of diminishing returns set in? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID — yes, but how simple?
1. Three courses is plenty, right?
2. When I was at the University of Madrid in 1970, in the Colegio Mayor Mendel, students were served four courses! (separate meat and fish). At the time, I thought this was heaven!
3. Then, in France, there was only one meat or fish course but then there was often a separate salad course and cheese course. Making five courses. Back in the 1960s and 1970s seemed to me like a much better way to live.
SO WHAT DOES THE PERFECT THANKSGIVING PLATE LOOK LIKE? HOW ABOUT THE PERFECT FORK?
1.The Magic Eight (plate): turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, peas
2. The Magic Five (fork) : turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce. Or is three the right number?
3. Ratios: turkey/potatoes, gravy/potatoes, cranberry sauce/turkey…..
NB: Strong opinions? And how about the wine?
EVER WONDERED WHAT THEY GOT IN FIRST CLASS ON THE RMS TITANIC ON APRIL 14, 1912?
1. Ten or Eleven courses depending on how you count them.
2. Three courses before the main course: hors d’oeuvres, soup, fish (Wikipedia)
3. Seven courses after the main course: including a roast (eg., squab) punch or sorbet, “cold dish” (foie gras). Cheeses, fruit, sweets. (Wikipedia)
NB: And after dinner, of course, coffee and cigars.
LAST FOUR YEARS OF POSTS ORGANIZED THEMATICALLY:
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
Anything miscellaneous to share? Best trip you ever took in your life? Practical life tips? Random facts? Jokes? Or, what is the best cartoon you have seen lately? or in the last 10 years? or the last 50? Or what is your favorite holiday food? Main course? Dessert? Fondest food memories? Favorite foods to eat or prepare?
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. Or to cement in your mind a memory that might otherwise disappear. Or to think more deeply about something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.